If there is anyone concerned with reputation right now, it’s the marketing division of Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One. This time though, it’s not for their own, but instead for gamers on Xbox Live. The Xbox Newswire just released a couple of videos with Q&A’s from people in the know on what they’re offering to Gold Live members. As well, Larry Hyrb (Microsoft’s Major Nelson) shows off a bit of the upcoming Live Friends app in a separate video – both are available below.
Xbox One’s Live Gold:
In the video below, MS cover the impacts of reputation and how it keeps similar people together, and blocking annoying players will impact reputation and SmartMatch. There is a bit a cloud talk as well – connecting how the server farms will improve gaming: Titanfall is using cloud to push some computing for AI, NPC, and larger hosted MP matches. Another benefit is avoiding player-hosted matches so there is no homefield advantage and a reduced risk in cheating.
Interestingly, they mentioned savegames and how it just saves them to the cloud – something I find cumbersome in the 360 model where you need to select your save location every time you start a game. This is all fine and good, but I am concerned with synching and savegame corruption : are we going to have access to earlier saves in case it’s damaged in transition?
There is a decoupling of Achievements from the games themselves – basically it sounds like the you’re not stuck with what got pressed onto a disk. One of the highlights in that is community-based achievements, the example cited was where a developer could post a timed achievement where the community needed to travel a million miles in-game, and if it happened the entire community could see a benefit. From a social connection perspective, this cold be pretty powerful as developers have a closer connection to the gamer, even though the game could be month or even years old. I recall a funny list of achievements in the first Crackdown game – having weekly challenges added to it could be a way to give older games a reason to stay in your playlist.
Xbox One’s Friends App:
Larry explains the difference with the new friends model:
So what’s the difference between a friend and a follower? They are all considered your friends on Xbox One, but the levels of privacy between the two are different. You can follow anyone you want and it’s completely up to them if they follow you back. You can also decide what information your followers can see about you.
When you and another gamer mutually follow each other, it creates a more interactive relationship that unlocks the ability for you both to see information like when each other are online, what achievements you earn in real time and what you’re up to on Xbox One.
There is also a feed option that keeps track of what your friends are up to. It will be interesting to see how this app integrates with the rest of the UI.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, at a young age I was forced to decide whether the harsh northern winters were going to claim my fingers, or to turn to the safer pursuits of indoor activities. Little did I know that a little game called Ninja Gaiden would bring my digits more pain than frostbite ever could. Starting with Vectrex and C64 games and moving forward through the era of electronic entertainment, I sampled as much as I could in the different platforms, and began my interest in PC gaming from wrestling with DOS memory management.
While console games were a part of my earliest gaming memories and I certainly had played on most platforms including 3D0, all things Nintendo, PS1 and the like, truly the PC was my domain until the Xbox. As an old PC gamer, I ever chased the cutting edge technology. Eye of the beholder with CGA 4 colors was my first step down the the path of blowing thousands of dollars on PC upgrades over two decades. Ultima 7, with the Guardian talking to me through my monitor, still haunts my dreams and keeps me ever hoping for a decent Ultima 8 and 9. From the 3DFX SLI VooDoo2s and Aureal to today's GPU driven DirectX games, the new and shiny pictures seem to keep me going. My PC gaming has slowed down with the market shift though, and although I have choice games that will ever be on PC, I have found myself in console gaming with a bit of portable gaming in my life.
Back around the turn of the millenium (and long before fatherhood), I had fired off an email offering to help Ron with a little-known site called ConsoleGold. Little did I know it would be be a part of my life to this day. While I've seen my fair share of shovelware (thanks Ron!), I manage to try and find the fun in most games. Leaning towards sandbox and action titles, I've grown to love games for their potential to reach art. Console agnostic and excited for the progress of tomorrow, I fancy the latest and greatest, but still enjoy the good old classics ... as long as they've been revamped from their 8bit graphic roots.